Algarve Beachgoers Warned To Be On Lookout For The Appearance Of Drum Jellyfish

Image of a drum jellyfish.

Image of a drum jellyfish. Credit: Wikipedia-Autorizzazioni ottenute/Pinobucca - CC-BY-SA-3.0

The drum jellyfish has been sighted more than 120 times in considerable abundance on many beaches in the Algarve in recent days.

These sightings were reported to the relevant authorities by beachgoers from Lagos to Vila Real de Santo António, according to sicnoticias.pt.

According to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), it is a large jellyfish, whose bell can reach 60 cm in diameter. The entity advised members of the public not to touch these creatures.

In a statement on its website, the IMPA warned that the species Rhizostoma Luteum, known as the drum jellyfish: ‘has been sighted in considerable abundance on many beaches in the Algarve‘.

By the end of the last week of June, more than 120 sightings of the species had been received by GelAvista, the IPMA’s citizen science program.

The occurrence of this species is common on the Portuguese coast, especially in the Algarve. During summer and autumn, these natural cyclical occurrences are associated with the period of its reproduction, explained the IPMA.

How to recognize this jellyfish?

The institute considers that the increase in these occurrences must be related to the sea currents and winds that favour the transportation of organisms to the beaches.

‘It is a large jellyfish, whose bell can reach 60 cm in diameter. It is characterised by its short and leafy oral arms, with long dark-coloured appendages at the ends’, explained the statement.

As the drum jellyfish is considered to sting slightly on contact with humans, the IPMA warned that in case of direct contact with the skin, ice packs should be applied for about 15 minutes, after washing and cleaning the affected area with seawater.

These jellyfish should never be touched

GelAvista recommends avoiding ever touching these organisms, even when they appear to be dead on the beach. No attempt should ever be made either to return them to the sea.

In its statement, the IPMA also recommended that the presence of jellyfish should be signalled and their location communicated to lifeguards.

‘Preferably, the ecosystem should not be interfered with, but, if necessary, the organisms can be removed for organic waste and never buried’, they informed.

Since 2016, the GelAvista program has been monitoring gelatinous organisms in Portuguese waters, collecting information.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com

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